During the COVID-19 pandemic, video games served as a large means of escape for people as they remained at home. In particular, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” and the studio that created it, Nintendo, were a huge part of keeping people sane during the early stages of quarantine. With all of this goodwill, vast amounts of newfound gamers were searching for more information as to Nintendo’s future projects.
Normally, this information would be delivered through Nintendo Directs, which were online presentations typically consisting of new information on games, whether they be new projects or old properties. However, these were put on pause for the larger part of the pandemic with the last general presentation having taken place on Sept. 4, 2019.
Last Wednesday, Feb. 17, gamers were able to finally celebrate the return of Nintendo Direct with a 50-minute presentation dedicated to the latest news for current or on coming games to the Nintendo Switch.
The presentation started off with a bang, revealing the newest fighter coming to “Super Smash Bros Ultimate.” Pyra and Mythra, two of the main characters in the JRPG “Xenoblade Chronicles 2,” were revealed in a new trailer as one single fighter unit. Online reception to this announcement was mixed, but overall, fans seem to be filled with excitement over these two joining the fight.
Following this trailer, new game ports and remasters were announced. Some of the announcements include a Switch port of “Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout,” remasters of the “Famicom Detective Club” adventure game duology and the fifth entry in Koei Tecmo’s “Samurai Warriors” series.
The final trailer for “Monster Hunter: Rise” was then shown off in preparation for its March 26 release. The sixth major entry in the “Monster Hunter” series, Capcom is determined to use the Switch’s full potential to create an engaging world with the same monsters fans have loved to encounter throughout the years.
Along with the reveal of limited edition Switches and Switch Pro controllers themed after the game, those interested in "Moster Hunter: Rise" will be able to celebrate their love for it in major ways by the time the game comes out.
These thrilling trailers were followed by the more relaxed reveal of “Mario Golf: Super Rush,” the seventh game in the “Mario Golf” series. Subsequently, more Switch ports were revealed, such as Telltale Games’ “Tales from the Borderlands,” Nintendo’s “Miitopia” and Koei Tecmo’s “Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection.”
More new projects were announced as well, including Annapurna Interactive’s “Neon White,” Square Enix’s “Project Triangle Strategy” and Zynga’s “Star Wars: Hunters.”
Most importantly, the presentation itself ended with two major announcements, both of which came from Nintendo themselves. Although there was no news regarding the highly-anticipated sequel to “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” it was revealed that “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword,” originally released on the Wii in 2011, would be getting an HD remaster for a July 16 release.
To top it all off, “Splatoon 3” was publicized as a final surprise, with the trailer showing a post-apocalyptic Paris and inklings ready to go to paint war with each other. With a 2022 release, those who have been making the most of their time with “Splatoon 2” will be able to experience a new part of the Inklings’ world sooner rather than later.
This Nintendo Direct may not have had what everyone was expecting, but there were plenty of pleasant surprises announced here. New games were announced, and games both old and new that were not originally on the Switch are finding their way there now. With just these announcements being made this early in the year, one can only look forward to what else is in the Switch’s future.